“Protect, Strengthen, Prepare” European agriculture Paolo Marchesini, General Manager, ECCA

“Protect, Strengthen, Prepare” European agriculture
Paolo Marchesini, General Manager, ECCA

The European Crop Care Association, the voice of the post-patent plant protection industry calls on the Belgian Presidency to provide Europe’s farmers with the tools they require to meet growing consumer demand for safe, nutritious and affordable food. ECCA’s members offer the following advice to Europe’s policymakers to Protect, Strengthen and Prepare Europe’s agriculture for moving to a sustainable model.

Protect – Ensuring Sustainable Crop Protection
With the diminishing availability of Plant Protection Products (PPPs) for European farmers, there is no time to lose in providing farmers with the tools they need to meet growing consumer demand. ECCA calls on the Belgian Presidency to support efforts to protect the functioning of existing legislation, recognising the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises – of which our membership is comprised. The simplest and most effective means to protect European agriculture, farmers, the environment and consumers, is to ensure the proper functioning of existing legislation for the approval of post-patent PPPs.

Strengthen – Streamlining Approvals for Agricultural Resilience
The approval process for post-patent PPPs faces challenges such as delays and unnecessary duplications. ECCA calls on the European Commission and Member States to reinforce and reconfirm the EU’s commitment to existing legislative timelines, consistent authorisations, and to science-based evaluations. This in turn will help build a competitive and innovative market, providing farmers with the tools they need.

Prepare – Equipping Farmers for Future Challenges
ECCA supports the EU’s transition to sustainable farming practices and believes that safe and efficacious post-patent PPPs have a pivotal role in meeting farmers’ needs, today, while we await new biopesticides to be approved and available on the market. We urge the Belgian Presidency to show a clear commitment to eliminate barriers limiting farmers’ access to post-patent PPPs, fostering a resilient agricultural sector that safeguards nature today and in the future.

As we consider the future of food and agriculture in Europe – speed is of the essence, safety is paramount and improved sustainability is our guiding principle. ECCA members are ready to accept the responsibility and scale up production, but the industry needs fair access to the market in line with existing legislation – meaning no artificial extension of data protection periods for off-patent active substances and an open and competitive market. While the EU is immersed in political activities, elections, and the anticipation of a new Commission later in the year, the immediate needs of Europe’s farmers – this season – is growing, protecting, and providing consumers with safe, nutritious, and affordable food.

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